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Gary Lucas – Demarcation Review

Our first artist to be interviewed by HPM, Gary Lucas is now ready with his first full length release “Demarcation”.

Opening with single “Half My in Headphones”, an up-tempo number that has a slight tint of 70’s jazz with its Rhodes slinking through the song and the scatting in the chorus. It’s all very catchy and hooks you in. In contrast “Musicalise” is an acoustic guitar and vocal piece that is downcast and showcases Gary’s digitalised vocal treats which is very reminiscent of Imogen Heap’s style on “Hide and Seek”.

“Asleep in Your Bed” has tinges of Tom McRae and a vocal of Rufus Wainwright with a particular sound to the song that makes it sound like a musical show stopper gone tragically wrong. “Glow” is a slow but powerful ballad which sounds very late 80’s which is exactly how the next song “Hate” comes across despite being electronically driven. “Hate” in particular is a strong contender for song of the album with its catchy lines.

“How do I Put This Day Back” however takes the song of the album for me. Its whimsical acoustic guitar and soft keyboard pads swirling behind it snuggles into you while Gary’s vocals, especially when hitting higher notes really hit the spot.

Then smacking you in the face is the dark dance that is “Spinning”. Sounding like something Soft Cell would have been proud to put out, combining strong lyrics with a killer riff, this backs up Lucas’ potential to really grow into a great all rounder in the future. “Demarcation” follows as a sparse piano/vocal song that oozes pain. For all the bells that’s added onto the early tracks on the album, its generally when its all stripped out that Gary shines through.

“Universal Understanding” is a chirpy up-tempo number that’s a little bit funky with its jazzy organ and middle section that flows particularly well and again comes across late 70’s in style. “Lost Out” is another piano/vocal song that waltzes carefully and delicately throughout. “Ode” again sounds like Wainwright all over while the almost cabaret rock “Breakthrough” reminds me of Keyth Lawrence and the Purple Circle.

The album then comes to a close with the bass filled ambience stodge that is the fabulous “Burnt Out” which leads the acoustic driven “What Could Have Been” which showcases the basic talent Gary Lucas all over.

Throughout this album there is a certain alternative cabaret from 1978 feel going on and its a unique sound to pop into. Gary Lucas touches on various genres and therefore maybe some songs will definitely appeal to you more than others but one thing is for certain;Gary can pull off a ballad to great effect and when you can hold someone’s emotions through six minutes of heartache, you’ve pretty much won them over.

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